First Call, Last Call

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The Independent Culture
First Call

FOLLOWING THE lead of Nicole Kidman and Emily Woof, it's now the turn of Rufus Sewell (right) to explore sexuality on stage in Macbeth. The smouldering Sewell, star of such films as The Woodlanders, Cold Comfort Farm and Hamlet, will undoubtedly bring slithering charm to the title role, but his acting mettle will be tested to the full opposite Sally Dexter who stars as his scheming lady wife. Directed by John Crowley.

Queen's Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1 (0171-494 5040) opens 24 Feb

Last Call

SPRINGING BACK into action in spectacular style after being dropped by their record label, Rialto are tipped by many as a band with a big future. In 1992, they had two independent hits and supported the Manic Street Preachers, while in 1993, an eponymous debut album established their reputation for sweeping melodic strings and laconic charm. "There's always a certain amount of resilience in our songs. If you see life as an epic story, rather than something meaningless, even the low points are life-affirming." Their career definitely is on the up.

LA2, Charing Cross Road, London W1 (0171-343 0403) 9 Dec